- Category: USS Arizona Survivor Stories
- Last Updated: Saturday, 21 November 2015 23:27
- Published: Thursday, 22 May 2003 00:00
USS ARIZONA CREW MEMBER BURIED
The man who had been the oldest surviving crew member of the USS Arizona has been laid to rest with shipmates in the hull of the battleship that sank during Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. National Park Service divers placed the cremated remains of Capt. Francis Marion Falge, 96, of Carmel, California, in a gun turret near the stern of the ship during a ceremony, Wednesday, April 26, 2000. He died January 21. Since the end of World War II, 14 other Arizona survivors have chosen to be buried with shipmates killed in the December 7, 1941, attack. Some 945 sailors went down with the ship and have remained entombed there since the Sunday morning assault that drew the United States into war.
"This is very sacred ground," said Falge's son, Roger. Roger Falge, who was 12 at the time, said his father was on shore leave attending Mass at the time of the attack. A Navy lieutenant, Falge quickly went to the harbor and helped in rescue efforts for the next several days, his son said.
Of the 334 sailors from the Arizona who survived, only 50 are believed to be still living. Falge was the oldest member of the USS Arizona Reunion Association when he died. Officers and sailors who served on the Arizona after its commissioning in 1916 and before its sinking are eligible to have their ashes scattered in the waters over the ship. But only those assigned to the Arizona at the time of the attack are eligible for interment in the hull of the ship. This includes those who were on leave from the ship at the time of the attack.
Information researched and compiled by I. B. Nease and N. A. Nease and provided on USSARIZONA.ORG free of charge.
May not be reprinted in any form, other than educational use, without prior written permission of the author.
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